(Seeking the Soul wins the Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over the country. We are looking for workouts that may be of interest and helpful to you — as both race fans and handicappers. Some of the horses we will be tracking, you will know. Some of them, you may not know — as of yet.
- American Anthem, a 5YO son of Bodemeister, worked at Belmont Park in New York this morning. The horse — who has a 1-1-1 mark in 5 starts this year and has not started since finishing 4th in an allowance event at KEE on Oct. 12 — travelled 4 furlongs over the dirt training track in a time of :50.24. That was the 55th best time out of 106 to clock the distance. In 16 lifetime starts, this one has a 6-2-3 record and has amassed more than $776,000 in purses. Last win came in an allowance at Del Mar back in July. Ran 3rd in the G2 Pat O’Brien Stakes after that. Was sold for $145,000 at the most recent KEE November Breeding Stock Sale. Was purchased by Don Tiger, whomever that may be. Will be interesting to see whose name is listed as the new trainer when he makes it back to the starting gate. Today’s work was the 2nd published move since the purchase. Interesting developments.
- Noble Indy, another war horse who has some significant back history, worked at Belmont Park this morning, as well. The 4YO son of Take Charge Indy — who ran 17th in the 2018 Kentucky Derby after winning the G2 Louisiana Derby that same year — went the 4 furlong distance in :48.66 over the dirt training track. That was the 7th best time out of the 106. This year, Noble Indy has raced 9 times. Has a 1-1-1 record. Last two outs, though, have been subpar. Last win came here back in September. Will be interesting to see where this one lands next for trainer Todd Pletcher.
- Call Paul, a 3YO Pennsylvania-bred son of Friesan Fire and trained by Jason Servis, worked this morning at Belmont Park, too. The colt breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02.45. That was the 4th best time out of 25 to test the watch at that distance. This year, Call Paul has a 3-2-1 record in 9 starts and has won nearly $300,000. Won the New Castle Stakes at Delaware Park back in September. Won the G3 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park back in February, and won the G2 Saratoga Special as a 2YO last year at “The Spa.” Talent there. So is the grit and grind. Bears watching.
- Chess Chief, a 3YO son of Into Mischief and trained by Dallas Stewart, worked this morning at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. This guy — who ran 3rd in the Oklahoma Derby in September and most recently was 2nd in an allowance at Churchill Downs on Dec. 1 — went a nice half mile in :50 flat. That was the 7th best time out of 17 to go that far over the main dirt surface. While this one has only broken his maiden in 13 lifetime starts, he does have 2 seconds and 3 thirds. Only time where he truly disappointed was the 8th place finish in the G1 Runhappy Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Deep waters. Look out if this one faces allowance company again soon.
- Seeking the Soul, who won the G1 Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs just this past June, worked this morning at the Fair Grounds, as well. This 6YO son of Perfect Soul went a half mile in :49.60. That was the 4th best time out of the 17. Since the Foster, Seeking the Soul has been seeking is old form. Has been off the board in the last 3 outs, and has back-to-back 6th place finishes in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the G1 Clark Handicap. May need a freshening and a little lighter spot. Pick the head up kind of a race.
- Kowboy Karma, a 4YO son of Kodiak Kowboy and trained by J. Larry Jones, worked this morning in New Orleans, too. Went 5 furlongs in 1:02 flat. That was the 13th best time out of the 30. This one has only 1 wins and 1 second in 6 starts this year, but did run 3rd in the Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Churchill Downs just three starts back. Be interesting to see what’s next for this one.
- Wexx, a 2YO daughter of Declaration of War and also trained by J. Larry Jones, worked this morning at the Fair Grounds. The winner went 5 furlongs in a nice time of 1:01.40. That was 8th best out of the 30. This homebred of the Hinkle Farms broke the maiden at first request on Aug. 31 at KY Downs. Ran 2nd two races ago against some good ones at KEE on Oct. 25. Winner that day was In Good Sprits, a daughter of Ghostzapper who is trained by Al Stall, Jr. Look for this one to be ready for more soon. Has some get-up and go to her game.
- Cutting Humor, a 3YO son of First Samurai and trained by Todd Pletcher for the Starlight Racing connections, worked this morning at the Palm Beach Training Facility in South Florida. The colt — who has not run since he was 10th in this year’s KY Derby — went 4 furlongs in :49.90. It was the 6th published work since he was returned to serious training in late October. Last win came two starts ago, when he captured the G3 Sunland Park Derby. Be interesting to see where the connections try the comeback trail. Gulfstream Park? Tampa Bay?
- Loaded, a 2YO daughter of Ghostzapper and trained by Rusty Arnold for the G. Watts Humphrey, Jr. brigade, worked this morning at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida. This gal — who has two second place finishes in the first two career starts at KEE and Churchill Downs — went a nice half mile in :49 flat. That was the 7th best time out of 25 to go that far. In the first start, she was behind the highly regarded Turtle Trax at KEE on Oct. 12. The next out, she was beaten by another highly touted 2YO filly in Slam Dunk on Nov. 7 at Churchill Downs. She may be poised next time out. Bears watching. Maybe betting.
- X Y Jet, a 7YO gelded son of Kantharos and trained by the always-interesting Jorge Navarro, went 4 furlongs at the Palm Meadows Training Center this morning. Went the distance in :49.85 — which was the 13th best time out of the 25. This one has not run since winning the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen Stakes back in March. Of the last 4 races, this one has 3 wins — including the G3 Smile Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park in June of 2018. Also won the Sunshine Millions Sprint over the Gulfstream Park strip on Jan. 20, 2018. Likes it in South Florida. Look out for this one’s return. Today’s move was the 7th published work since returning to serious training at Monmouth Park in late October. Looks ready. Aim?